Some days ago, I wrote this article, explaining that the guru cannot take anyone’s karma. To this, a reader quoted the following verse which comes at the beginning of the Haribhakti-vilāsa written by Śrī Gopāla Bhatta Goswami and commented on by Śrī Sanātana Goswami. sāra-saṅgrahe’pi—sad-guruḥ svāśritaṁ śiṣyaṁ varṣam […]
A surprisingly common misconception among modern adherents of Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism is that the guru ‘takes’ one’s karma. At the time of initiation, the guru is imagined to take on all karma of the disciple, akin to how Jesus takes the sins of his followers. From thereon, the guru […]
The line of Paṇḍit Goswami
Bhaktas lack the capacity to perform immoral acts
Sat-saṅga, the company of the ‘Sat’ or the devotees of Bhagavān is rightly understood to be crucial in one’s turning toward Bhagavān. Śrī Jīva Goswami explains this in detail in the Bhakti Sandarbha where he cites several verses from the Bhāgavata. Misunderstanding such verses, many think that bhakti […]
The famous eight instructions of Śri Caitanya
Leaving an inauthentic teacher and path.
A key qualification on the path of bhakti is śraddhā, which is generally understood as faith. However, the word śraddhā indicates something very specific in the context of uttamā bhakti. Śrī Jīva Goswami takes this topic up in some detail in the Bhakti Sandarbha. Here we examine his […]
The spiritual prospects of many a modern sādhaka fade owing to entrapment by smart and savvy individuals who come across as authentic, scholarly spiritualists. In the Indian cultural context, a lot of thought has historically been given to protecting oneself from such dangers. The Hitopadeśa is one such […]
In a previous article, we examined the characteristics of Bhagavān’s names. There, we saw that Bhagavān’s name is self-existent, i.e. independent, and conscious. Here we explore this concept some more.
A major sādhana in Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism is the chanting of Bhagavān’s name (nāma in Sanskrit). It is not surprising, then, that Sri Jiva methodically analyzes the subject of nāma in the Sandarbhas. Here, we discuss key attributes of Bhagavān’s names. Bhagavan’s names are not mental constructs like other […]
In the final verse of the Bhāgavata’s catuḥśloki, Bhagavān speaks about the fourth item, aṅga. The aṅga, Śrī Jīva Goswami explains in Anuccheda 96 of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, is sādhana bhakti or the means, to attain the rahasya, prema. Below, we present Śrī Jīva’s analysis of how the […]